Pope after US Christmas parade crash: May good overcome evil

Pope Francis speaks from the window of his studio overlooking St. Peter's Square at The Vatican to a crowd of faithful and pilgrims gathered for the Sunday Angelus noon prayer, Sunday, June 6, 2021. Pope Francis has expressed sorrow over the discovery in Canada of the remains of 215 boarding school students but didn't offer the apology sought by the Canadian prime minister. Francis in public remarks on Sunday called on political and church authorities to work to shed light “on this sad affair” and to foster healing. (AP Photo/Domenico Stinellis)

ROME (AP) — Pope Francis sent his condolences Tuesday to the victims of the Christmas parade crash in Wisconsin that killed five people and said he was praying for “spiritual strength which triumphs over violence and overcomes evil with good.”

The Vatican secretary of state, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, sent the telegram of condolences on behalf of Francis to the archbishop of Milwaukee, Monsignor Jerome Listecki.

Francis asked that those affected by the “tragic incident” know he is spiritually close to them, and called on “the Lord to bestow upon everyone the spiritual strength which triumphs over violence and overcomes evil with good.”

Police say Darrell Brooks Jr., 39, was behind the wheel of the SUV that sped through the parade route Sunday in the city of Waukesha, killing five people and injuring 48 others in that Milwaukee suburb. Waukesha Police Chief Dan Thompson said Brooks was leaving the scene of a domestic dispute that had taken place just minutes earlier.

One of the pending legal cases against Brooks at the time was that he had deliberately hit a woman with his car in early November after a fight.

This story corrects that the crash took place in Waukesha, Wisconsin, not Milwaukee.